Not that this game needs any more hype than it has already built up, God of War Ragnarok is poised to compete for the coveted Game of the Year alongside games like Elden Ring, Tunic, Neon White, and Xenoblade Chronicles 3. The game has been in development for quite a while now and it looks like the studio had started work on the sequel close to the release of 2018 title.
Santa Monica Studio‘s most important game yet comes out on November 9, 2022 and the gaming community has been waiting with bated breath to see the Norse saga of God of War come to a close. The 2018 game was met with almost unanimous critical acclaim and became one of PlayStation Studio’s best-selling games, both on console and PC.
With only weeks removed from God of War Ragnarok’s release date, we take a look at some of the things that has us excited about the upcoming game.
Top 5 Reasons God of War Ragnarok Has Gamers Excited
“That” Boss Fight
Soon as Santa Monica Studio announced back in 2015 that their next game would be God of War and that it will take place in the Norse realm – everyone has been looking forward to a throwdown with a certain hammer-wielding God. Quite smartly, Santa Monica withheld that boss fight in the 2018 game, saving it for the eventual sequel which arrives week from now.
The trailers for the game have teased the highly-anticipated throwdown between the two titans and we cannot be more excited. While depictions of Thor in recent years has been dominated by the MCU, Santa Monica’s Thor is an altogether different beast. A hulking, bruiser of a God – Thor looks like the perfect foil for our favourite bearded dad antihero.
While it would appear that Odin will be the ultimate bad guy of the game, the top spot for the most awaited boss fight has to go to Thor. The fight was teased in the final moments of God of War (2018), and since then, fans have had 4 years to dream up the perfect boss fight.
The pressure is immense on the studio to deliver a fight befitting “Ragnarok” and set the standard once again when it comes to large-scale bossfights.
One of the pivotal scenes in the 2018 game was the final boss fight that saw Kratos and Atreus go up against Baldur, the son of Freya and Odin. The fight ultimately went the pair’s way and as Baldur attempted to murder Freya – Kratos puts an end to the cycle and snaps Baldur’s neck.
The last we see of Freya is when she curses Kratos and Atreus and vows to rain down vengeance on the duo. Throughout the game, Freya had been one of the pair’s staunchest allies and helps them throughout the journey. This dynamic is now flipped upside down as it looks like Freya might be hunting down the father and son across Midgrard – and possibly other realms.
This has a couple of ramifications as players might remember Freya has been cursed by Odin and she cannot cause harm to any living being. Judging from the trailer, it would appear that Freya is causing all sorts of harm – swinging her sword around and performing all sorts of animal-transformations.
It implies that Freya might have struck some kind of bargain with Odin and the curse has been lifted. As if Odin and Thor weren’t enough a threat, it looks like the pair might also have to deal with Freya in what could also be a rather memorable boss fight between the duo and a once-ally.
A New God of War
Lines from the 2018 game established Tyr as having been dead for quite a while and Norse God of War hadn’t been seen in a very long time. The trailers for Ragnarok have pretty much confirmed that Tyr is, in fact, not dead but is rather imprisoned, most likely by Odin.
Tyr was one of the Giant’s strongest allies, which probably didn’t sit well with either Odin or Thor and seeing as Odin is painted as a vicious, paranoid, monster – he has likely imprisoned Tyr in an attempt to extract knowledge from him – much like Mimir. It looks like the pair will mount a jailbreak attempt for the Norse God of War in their war against Asgard.
From just his appearance, Tyr towers over Kratos, who is not a short man by any stretch of the imagination. While his physical appearance is menacing enough, Tyr is wise beyond any other God in the 9 realms and has knowledge that stretches far beyond the grasp of even Odin. While the core gameplay loop will probably involve Atreus and Kratos only, there is bound to be at least a level or two that features the pair fighting alongside Tyr.
New Combat Elements
So far, we’ve talked quite a bit about the numerous, interesting story elements of the game – but perhaps the biggest reason why fans have loved the franchise for this long has been the combat. While the changes look like they are incremental only, they could make a much larger impact on the overall scheme of things.
The camera perspective and general pace of the combat seems much like the 2018 game – but the addition of new elements such as two shields instead of one look rather intriguing. Other major additions to the combat loop is the added verticality in levels – meaning, there are now ledges and structures that Kratos can zip to using his Blades of Chaos.
This makes the game’s combat puzzle all the more interesting, by giving players new tools to play around with. It is possible that the game might be a tad bit more challenging than the 2018 game – seeing as players now have more things to juggle.
Atreus has also grown up quite a bit since the last we saw him, which means his moveset is going to be more advanced than it was back in the 2018 game. It will be interesting to see if Atreus can do more than just stagger/stun or shock damage and if he plays an even more active part in the combat puzzle of the game.
The End of a Saga – The Beginning of a New?
It has been confirmed by Game Director Eric Williams that the game will finally close the chapter on the Norse phase of the franchise. This means we will be getting answers to a lot of unanswered questions and open plot threads that were explored in 2018’s God of War.
As the name alone implies, the game has a sense of finality to it and will provide what is hopefully a satisfying conclusion to the duo’s tale. It will be interesting to see if Santa Monica decides to move ahead with the franchise without Kratos at the healm, replaced by his son, Loki/Atreus.
There is certainly a lot of value in that idea as it allows the studio to work on projects distinct other than the God of War franchise. Santa Monica Studios has been working on just the God of War franchise for quite a while now so it wouldn’t be a surprise if the studio decides to work on something new altogether.
Cory Barlog, Game Director on the 2018 God of War is reported to be working on an unannounced title, which could be wholly separate from the God of War franchise. With the push towards live-service games, perhaps the next time we see something from Santa Monica, we will be looking at a live-service multiplayer title.